A MODERN-DAY hermit who built a mud hut after living wild for years is being evicted by officials.

Daniel Pike in his home
Daniel Pike moved into Merry Hill Forest, near Watford, Herts, four years ago after becoming disillusioned with modern life.

The resourceful 28-year-old spent his days building a shelter made entirely from wood and clay harvested from the riverbed, complete with a thatched roof. 

Not stopping there, his Robinson Crusoe-style camp also boasts a bath made from driftwood, a roaring indoor fire, window frames, a seating area, bridge and water wheel which produces clean, filtered water.

After adding solar panels to his roof, the former Tesco Extra worker also enjoys electric lights inside his humble abode.

Daniel Pike in his homeCASCADE

Daniel Pike in his home

Daniel Pike in his homeCASCADE

Daniel Pike in his home

Mr Pike suffered a nervous breakdown and became homeless, and with no other prospects decided to go into the woods.

He said: “When I first saw the land it was bare but I knew straight away it was perfect.

“The main structure took seven attempts and six months to build.

“We belong to the land, the land doesn’t belong to us. I don’t think I’m squatting.”

But officials from The Woodland Trust, who own the Carpenders Park site, have ordered him to go.

The vegan added: “I am not doing any harm to anyone here. I grew tired with modern life.

“I came out to the woods, starting in a tent and decided to build a home. I won’t be leaving.”

He spends his time meditating, growing his own food, and thinking of how to add to his cosy camp.

A hot shower was one thing he missed, but praised the benefits of a simple life, adding: “Through being spiritual, positive and adapting to the changes in life I have managed to get through these hard times and become a better person.

Daniel Pike in his homeCASCADE

Daniel Pike in his home

Daniel Pike in his home

“No one knows I’m here. I am so proud of what I have achieved and feel so lucky to call this place home.”

Partly surviving on food from his nearest shop – two miles away – which would otherwise be thrown away, he is adamant he is staying.

But the Trust has insisted he is getting the boot.

Gareth Hopkins, operations manager, said: “We are aware of the current situation at Merry Hill and have spoken to Mr Pike directly.

“It is a highly unusual situation and one we are treating with care and consideration.

“We are working with him to seek a resolution.”

source Express